Last Updated on March 14, 2022
The difference between summer squash and zucchini may be on your mind. Not to worry because this post is all about educating you about this and even more.
The terms zucchini and summer squash are usually used interchangeably especially when it comes to food recipes.
You might have even been in a situation where you’ve searched the whole supermarket shelves for zucchini only to find nothing. Then you just decide to simply toss a summer squash in your shopping cart instead because you think they are the same. But are they really the same or is there a difference between them? We will find out soon.
But before we look into the difference between summer squash and zucchini, let’s briefly look into some brief details about summer squash and zucchini.
Brief About Zucchini
Although zucchini is often referred to as a vegetable, botanically speaking, it is actually a type of fruit. But you can still refer to them as vegetables. It belongs to the family of Cucurbitaceae together with other types of fruits such as cucumbers and gourds.
They are vining herbaceous plant and their fruits are usually harvested while their seeds and epicarp are still young or immature and soft or edible. The entire fruit of zucchini is totally edible so the skin, the flesh, and even the seeds are totally edible and they are rich in phytonutrients.
The fruit of zucchini is cylindrical and long and it has this mild, sparingly sweet flavor. The color of the fruit is deep green and it has this soft white flesh. However, you may occasionally find a golden-yellow variety of zucchini. The taste of zucchini tends to be mild and it has this slightly sweet flavor.
Usually, it is the color of zucchini that is one of the most common ways of distinguishing between summer squash and zucchini. Then normally, the color of summer squash tends to be a bright shade of yellow compared to the zucchini forest green trademark.
Brief About Summer Squash
Summer squash is a warm season crop that can be grown anytime so far the weather conditions are warm and frost free. When we talk about summer squash, it can encompass many varieties of freshly harvested squash that are usually picked during the summer months.
The truth of the matter is that zucchini is also a summer squash plant family. And zucchini is included in other summer squash families such as pattypan squash, crookneck squash, and yellow squash. This implies that all zucchini can be referred to as summer squash. However, not all summer squash are zucchini because summer squash has different varieties of other squash apart from zucchini.
Now, that we have some ideas about what zucchini and summer squash is, we can now look into the differences if there are any.
Differences Between Summer Squash And Zucchini: Zucchini vs Squash
As we mentioned earlier, zucchini is also a type of summer squash. The difference between these two isn’t so much. But here are some differences we can find about these two squash:
The main difference between these two squash is their color. Zucchini is mostly dark green while summer squash on the other is mostly yellow. However, there are still some zucchini varieties that are yellow and they are known as gold zucchini.
This gold zucchini also have the same flavor as the green zucchini so you can switch them in your dishes. The yellow zucchini may not be seen frequently or at all if you try to find them at grocery stores. You may however see them once in a while at the farmers market. You can even grow it yourself.
2. Shape – Difference Between Summer Squash And Zucchini
Apart from color being the difference between zucchini and summer squash, the shape of these squash is another difference we can look at. A little closer look at their shapes can tell their differences.
For the shape of zucchini, it has this straight, even shape. Then summer squash on the other hand has this thick and wider near the bottom and a narrow shape at the top. So, even if you find a zucchini and summer squash of the same color lying side by side, you should be able to tell the differences in their shape.
3. Slicing – Difference Between Summer Squash And Zucchini
It is believed that you may get the difference between zucchini and summer squash when you slice them apart. When you cut them apart, summer squash may have fewer seeds compared to zucchini.
What About The Flavor: Does Summer Squash And Zucchini Taste Different?
When it comes to the flavor of both zucchini and summer squash, they tend to taste similar. So, it will be pretty easy to just use either zucchini or summer squash interchangeably in your recipe.
Can You Swap Zucchini For Summer Squash?
The fact that zucchini and summer squash taste similar, makes them easy to be swapped easily. These two types of squash also have similar appearances from the inside. Therefore, you can easily use zucchini or summer squash interchangeably for your kitchen recipe.
Both zucchini and summer squash have this mid-taste and that slightly firm texture. You may not even notice so much difference in their taste. So, if you are probably having trouble finding one of these squash, you can simply go for either and it won’t even affect the flavor of your dish.
You may even make a unique recipe with these squash by simply including or mixing a little of each of these squash in your dish to make your plate look more colorful and appetizing.
Final Note On Difference Between Summer Squash And Zucchini
Differences between summer squash and zucchini have been discussed in this post. So we hope we have answered most of the troubling questions you may have about the differences between these two squash.
Can I use summer squash instead of zucchini?
Yes. You can comfortably use summer squash instead of zucchini. You may not even notice the difference because both summer squash and zucchini tend to have a similar taste. These two squash both have a mild taste with a hint of sweetness.
Which is healthier yellow squash or zucchini?
Both yellow squash and zucchini have unique nutritional values that you can benefit from. For instance, squash has more beta-carotene and alpha-carotene compared to zucchini. But zucchini also contains more lutein and zeaxanthin compared to squash.
Is squash the same as zucchini?
Technically speaking, squash can be referred to as zucchini because zucchini is also a type of squash (zucchini is a summer squash to be precise). Apart from the difference in color and shape, zucchini and squash can be used interchangeably, especially during food recipes.
Eunice is an enthusiastic gardener with a passion for growing beautiful flowers. She loves nothing more than spending time in her garden, tending to her plants and enjoying the outdoors. Eunice has been gardening for over 15 years and has developed a unique style of landscaping that is both practical and aesthetically pleasing. She is especially fond of growing roses and enjoys experimenting with different varieties and colors. Eunice takes great pride in her garden and often shares the fruits of her labor with friends and family. In her spare time, she enjoys reading gardening magazines and attending local horticulture events. Eunice is passionate about her hobby and is always eager to share her knowledge and experience with others.